Smart cameras play an important role in keeping our homes safe today. The videos recorded from these cameras have helped catch thieves red-handed, as well as ward off potential threats. They’ve even provided crucial evidence in the event of a crime. So it stands to reason that making sure these videos play flawlessly, is important. But that doesn’t always happen…
Sometimes Wyze users have found issues with the Live View, or even the playback of recorded videos. The most common has been lagging – which is basically when the video starts and stops, and even at times appears pixelated because of this lag. Definitely not an ideal situation! So how do we fix this?
- A weak Wi-Fi signal is the most common cause of lag.
- Checking your router and camera positions might help, as can lowering the video resolution.
- Also double check the signal strength of third party devices (like an Echo Show, if using Live View mode).
- Finally, a pending update or an internal hardware fault could be the cause.
Overview of Wyze Cameras
They don’t have as many bells and whistles as some other camera brands, neither is their line as extensive as, let’s say, Ring. However, with the introduction of cameras like the Wyze Cam OG, even that’s changing quickly!
They come in a couple of indoor options such as the Wyze Cam v.3, and the Cam Pan, which swivels to follow motion and sound. There’s also outdoor Wyze cameras including the Floodlight Cam so that you can keep a well-lit eye on the outside of your home as well.
Wyze cameras require a Wi-Fi connection. A Wi-Fi connection allows them to connect to the Wyze app, which is where you’ll configure your camera’s settings.
To get the most out of their cameras, many users opt for a Cam Plus Cloud Subscription, which means that videos are recorded and saved. Without it, you’re limited to just Live View and a snapshot of motion or sound events.
Wyze cameras also have great compatibility with smart home hubs, such as the Amazon Echo. Once linked, you can conveniently watch camera footage from an Echo Show!
But what’s not so convenient, is a problem some users have had with their Wyze cameras, or rather, the camera footage. Freezing and lagging, creating an unstable picture of what’s going on, have been reported. This is whether it’s Live View, or even recorded footage being played back within the app.
Here are a few reasons why this is happening.
Wyze Video Lagging – Why?
So let’s say you get a Wyze motion alert, so you go to Live View on your camera to see what’s going on – but the video keeps lagging or freezing. This can occur from two different points. This is either when you’re viewing Live View footage from the Wyze app on your mobile device, or from a separate device, such as an Echo Show.
Another issue can happen when viewing your recorded videos. They may have some lag as well, even if your Live View is fine. So what’s going on? And how can you fix this?
The most common culprit is Wi-Fi. A strong, stable internet connection is crucial to your Wyze cameras. Without it, you can run into a host of problems. One is, you guessed it, video lag.
When it comes to Live View, a poor connection can cause a significant amount of lag. But if your Live View is fine, but your recorded videos are having issues, this may be due to a temporary lapse or decline in your internet strength. Fortunately, there are ways to help solve this issue.
Fixes for Spotty Wi-Fi
To see if Wi-Fi is your problem, go into your Wyze app, then to the camera you’re having trouble with. Tap the gear icon in the upper, right-hand corner of the screen to go into Settings.
From there, scroll down to Device Info and tap on that.
On the following screen, scroll down to Signal Strength. Here is where you’ll see how strong the signal from the router to your camera is.
If it appears weak, typically 2 bars or less, the internet signal is lacking. So what could be causing this?
One reason is you may not have enough bandwidth. When ISPs advertise internet speeds, that particular bandwidth has to be divided between all of the devices you’ll be using. For example, a bandwidth of 50 Mbps, if used with 5 devices, would yield about 10 Mbps per device. It could be that your Wi-Fi is spread too thin, as it were, and requires more bandwidth.
If possible, reduce how many devices are connected to the network. Taking devices you don’t use much off the Wi-Fi, or switching them to a different network can help.
Another culprit is the distance or any obstructions between your cameras and the router. If this is the case, by the time the Wi-Fi signal reaches the camera, it may be too weak. You can help remedy this situation by using a Wi-Fi extender.
These devices repeat the Wi-Fi signal so that devices that aren’t as close can still get a good signal. You can also try rebooting the router to see if that helps improve signal strength.
Your camera’s video resolution can also play a role when it comes to Live View quality There are three different resolutions available, each progressively better than the next.
First, there’s 360p, then SD, then HD. The higher the resolution/quality, the more taxing it can end up on the bandwidth of your Wi-Fi. This, in turn, results in video lag.
Choosing a lower resolution is best if you have spotty Wi-Fi and there’s little you can do about it. It can also make the video decoding process less taxing on your camera, making videos run more smoothly.
To adjust this, go into the Wyze app, and select the camera you want to change the Video Resolution for. Tap on the resolution in the upper, left-hand corner of the screen.
Once you do that, the different resolution options will appear at the bottom of the screen.
Select the one you want to use and see if a lower resolution helps video quality.
So let’s say your problem is when you go to Live View on your Amazon Echo Show, as opposed to directly from the Wyze app. Anytime you view them on your Echo Show, they always have playback issues such as lagging.
This is a problem that can actually occur with other smart camera brands as well when getting video from a 3rd party device, such as the Echo. The Echo, via Alexa, has to essentially ‘contact’ the Wyze server, then transfer the data over to the Amazon server. Wi-Fi plays an important role in this as well. However, even with adequate Wi-Fi, this can present a challenge as the signal still has to traverse two different networks, as it were, before displaying your video footage.
This process usually results in a few seconds of lag that varies depending on the strength of your Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot that can be done in this regard.
However, you may feel that the lag is just way too exaggerated. If that’s the case, one remedy many have tried is unlinking, then re-linking the Wyze Skill in the Alexa app.
You can do this by going into the Alexa app, then to the More button at the bottom right of the screen. On the next screen, select Skills and Games.
From that screen, go to the Your Skills tab, and locate the Wyze Skill. Tap on it, then on the Settings button. On the next screen, scroll down to the bottom to Disable Skill. This will unlink your Alexa and Wyze accounts.
To link again, you’ll search for the Wyze skill in the Alexa app, then tap Enable. This method has had mixed success, but is still a relatively simple fix to at least try.
Updates are essential to the proper function of your Wyze cameras. They contain essential bug fixes that help your cameras run more smoothly. So if any updates are needed and not done, these can cause performance issues with your cameras.
There are two kinds of updates you’ll want to keep an eye on; software and firmware updates.
Software refers mainly to the Wyze app – how you interact with your cameras. Firmware refers to the inner workings of the cameras themselves.
Wyze is usually pretty insistent in letting you know that a firmware update is needed. But, if you want to check on this yourself, go to the settings for the camera in the Wyze app. From there, go to Device Info. On that screen, you’ll see Firmware Version.
Tap on that to see if it needs to be updated.
For updates to the Wyze app, you’ll go into your respective app store – Play Store for Android users, and App Store for Apple/iOs users. Search for the Wyze app. Once it comes up, look to the right of the icon. If an update is needed, there will be an Update button present. If not, you’re all good on the update front.
Though rare, there may be an internal error with your Wyze cameras. If that’s the case, the best course of action would be to reach out to Wyze. If your camera is still under warranty, they’ll be able to fix whatever issue you’re experiencing. And if they can’t, they’ll replace the camera.
However, it’s to be noted that in order to return a Wyze camera to Wyze, it would have had to have been purchased from the Wyze store originally. If you purchased it from, say, a Best Buy, you’ll have to return it to Best Buy, or wherever you purchased the camera originally.
Do Other Smart Cameras Experience Lag?
Ring is another camera that sometimes also experiences video lag – either with Live View or recorded videos. This is typically due to a weak, or unstable Wi-Fi connection. Or sometimes, Ring is just feeling ‘buggy.’
In truth, most smart home cameras are prone to issues with freezing and lag if the Wi-Fi is spotty or weak. The only way to avoid (or at least reduce!) such situations, is by using an Ethernet connection, like Ring’s Elite line. They use PoE, or, Power over Ethernet for power and internet, giving greater stability.
Besides Wi-Fi, some cameras may experience lag because of a needed update – whether software or firmware. Again, this is typically across the board and a common caveat with Wi-Fi dependent devices.
Having video lag is definitely a pain! When you look at your videos, you want to see clear, streaming footage – not a choppy mess. But all hope is not lost!
With a few simple troubleshooting steps, you can get your videos back to running smoothly, so you can continue to keep an eye on your home.